Monthly Archives:

April 2019

by Paul Attard Kicking the Canon Music

Nas | Illmatic

In 1982, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released what’s largely considered the first ‘conscious’ mainstream rap single, “The Message,” a harrowing seven-minute journey into the hellish existence of project housing and the means one must utilize to escape it. Freedom from this infernal…

April 26, 2019
by Matthew Lucas Film

Tracey | Jun Li

World cinema has come a long way in the last two decades when it comes to queer representation in film. Yet despite the growing amount of films that tell queer love stories without playing into old-fashioned ‘kill your gays’ tropes, transgender stories remain woefully…

April 25, 2019
by Matt McCracken Film

The Taste of Rice Flower | Peng Fei Song

Set on the Sino-Burmese border, Peng Fei Song’s second feature, The Taste of Rice Flower, tells the story of Ye Nan (Ying Ze), a young mother who has been living and working in Shanghai to keep her family financially supported. When Ye Nan returns…

April 25, 2019
by Jaime Grijalba Gomez Film

Mr. No Problem | Mei Fang

Ding (Fan Wei) is the director of a farm during the heyday of the second Sino-Japanese war. He’s been tasked by a group of shareholders to oversee the farmers and to maintain the status of the farm, which is something that proves difficult for…

April 25, 2019
by Sean Gilman Film

Father | Yang Li-chou

Yang Li-chou’s documentary Father is about Chen Hsi-huang, an octogenarian master of the budaixi Taiwanese hand puppetry. He is the student, and oldest son, of Li Tien-lu, the foremost 20th century practitioner of the folk art, who, late in life, became a prominent member…

April 25, 2019
by Christopher Bourne Film

The Widowed Witch | Cai Chengjie

Cai Chengjie’s feminist fable The Widowed Witch plays-out across a succession of rural, wintry landscapes, through which travels Erhao (Tian Tian), a thrice-widowed woman who’s been ostracized, and deemed cursed, by her community, following the death of her third husband. A full color pre-credits…

April 25, 2019
by Daniel Gorman Film

Four Springs | Lu Qingyi

YouTube has made it easier than ever to disseminate the solipsistic musings of just about anybody — as we all have a tendency to willingly broadcast every aspect of ourselves online. Credit director Lu Qingyi for taking who-knows-how-many hours of home movie footage from…

April 25, 2019
by Matt McCracken Film

Bangzi Melody | Zheng Dasheng

Set toward the tail end of the Cultural Revolution, Bangzi Melody presents the life of a small village as its inhabitants go about the tasks of meeting peanut oil quotas; preparing a classical opera for their Chinese New Year pageant (attended by regional Party…

April 25, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism